Image for Greg Lea Greg Lea - October 14, 2022

Barcelona vs Celta Vigo Prediction, Betting Odds, Picks

  • Barcelona will be playing Champions League soccer again next season
  • Celta Vigo are still in the hunt for a top-half finish in La Liga with three games left
  • Barcelona have faltered at Camp Nou of late but should win comfortably here

Barcelona vs Celta Vigo Odds

Barcelona Vs Celta Vigo 2022 05 10

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Barcelona vs Celta Vigo Prediction

Barcelona in Pole Position To Secure Runners-up Finish

If you are first, you are first. If you are second, you are nothing.

So said Bill Shankly, the legendary Liverpool manager to whom all his successors are invariably compared. It is a quote which, for much of their modern history, Barcelona would have wholeheartedly subscribed to.

Winning the La Liga title has been their aim at the start of virtually every season since Johan Cruyff began to put the Dream Team together in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Yet at the beginning of the current campaign, even the most optimistic Barcelona supporters were nervous for what lay ahead.

Barcelona were, to put it kindly, in a horrible mess. Debts totaling more than €1 billion put the club’s future in doubt. They could not offer to keep hold of Lionel Messi, their greatest ever player, and were forced to stand and watch the Argentina international join Paris Saint-Germain. Ronald Koeman, despite his iconic status as a player, was an unpopular manager. Some sportsbooks listed Barcelona as their third favorites for the title, behind Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

In that context, then, a second-place finish would be a decent outcome for Barcelona. Madrid are uncatchable in top spot; it is only a matter of how far of the chasing pack Carlo Ancelotti’s side finish. But Barcelona now have a four-point lead over Sevilla in third place. Two wins in their final three matches would guarantee them a top-two finish.

It has not been entirely smooth sailing for Xavi Hernandez since the former club captain was handed the reins, but he has succeeded in restoring a sense of positivity around the Camp Nou.

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European Soccer Is Beyond Celta Vigo This Time Around

After back-to-back 17th-place finishes in 2018/19 and 2019/20, Celta Vigo have successfully steered clear of the La Liga relegation battle for a second year on the bounce. Celta found themselves at the wrong end of the table after 10 games last season: a return of just one win in that time left them in 20th place in November 2020, the same month Oscar Garcia was relieved of his duties.

Eduardo Coudet was chosen as his replacement, and the Argentine did a fantastic job of turning Celta’s fortunes around. An eighth-place finish was a brilliant achievement considering where Coudet found the club when he was installed in the dugout. Only Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla and Real Betis accrued more points than Celta from November 12, the date Coudet was unveiled as Garcia’s replacement.

Celta have not quite been able to replicate that pace this time around, and qualification for either the Europa League or the Europa Conference League is no longer possible. But Coudet deserves credit for consolidating last season’s eighth-place finish.

On their day Celta are tough to play against, as evidenced by the fact they have the eighth-best defensive record in the division. Inconsistency remains an issue, but a team with their budget is never going to be able to put together the sort of winning runs that Barcelona and Real Madrid are capable of. A top-half finish remains within reach for Celta, and causing an upset at the Camp Nou on Tuesday would be another sign of progress.

Barcelona Have Chance to End Turbulent Season on a High

Barcelona were never going to be able to catch Real Madrid at the summit of the standings, but they would be closer to their arch-rivals in the table had they been more reliable at home of late. Two of Barcelona’s last three league matches at the Camp Nou have ended in defeat, with Cadiz and Rayo Vallecano both emerging triumphant in Catalonia last month – to the surprise of everyone in Spain.

Those two losses show that there is still room for improvement for Xavi’s charges, but Barcelona can reflect with positivity on their La Liga performance in 2022: no team in the division has amassed more points than the Blaugrana since the turn of the year.

Barcelona will want to keep up this momentum as they target a title tilt next term. Their schedule for the rest of the campaign is not particularly daunting: after this clash with Celta, they travel to Getafe at the weekend and host Villarreal on the final day. Xavi’s side should be targeting nine points from nine from those fixtures.

Celta have failed to win six of their last eight league matches, and although they thrashed Alaves 4-0 last time out, Tuesday’s contest is a much tougher assignment. Back Barcelona to win with a -1.5 handicap.

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How to Watch Barcelona vs Celta Vigo

Barcelona vs Celta Vigo Information
Teams Barcelona vs Celta Vigo
Location Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
Time Tuesday, 10 May 2022, 3.30 PM EDT
How to watch ESPN+
Image for Greg Lea

AUTHOR

Greg Lea

657 Articles

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]

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